U.S. Nonfiction Producers: Where Are They Located? Mostly in LA? Maybe!
Where can you find the producers who supply U.S. Factual networks?
- New York?
- Maybe London?
- Are there other centers of development and production?
These questions are important:
- For non-fiction producers:
- Where are you most likely to get on a network’s radar?
- Should you establish offices or representation in multiple locations?
- For networks:
- Where should you locate LBA, Development and other resources?
- Where will you find your next wave of executive talent?
- For young hopefuls:
- Where is production scaled so that it promises lots of entry level work?
- We surveyed 2012 programming announcements for 20 +/- channels.
- We tracked down the locations of 200+/- producers who were cited.
- We put them in 5 buckets:
- New York
- Other US
- Other International.
- This is useful sensitivity analysis.
- It is based on extensive but selective data.
- It is not a comprehensive survey of network schedules and their supply chains.
- And remember: most US channels apply a strategic filter to the release of information about their programs.
- The diversity of sources was somewhat of a surprise.
- I expected that the LA region (41%) would be more dominant, reflecting the surging tide of agent-represented, character-based programming.
- Pawn Stars’ producer Leftfield Pictures illustrates the continuing success of New York as a production center (21%).
- ‘Other US’ (22%) is mostly comprised of Washington DC-area producers.
- Emerging producers from smaller markets tend to ‘marry up’ with established players.
- This skews the data away from the center and towards the coasts.
- All of this underlines the reality that great concepts come from smart people and not trendy zipcodes. That’s why the best developers keep their doors open to pitches from everywhere.
- It is remarkable how well-represented and successful are UK-based producers (10%)
- Many of them like September Films and ITV Studios enjoy long-running operations over here.
- The success of UK independents is partly an outcome of how the UK producers won a battle to legislate a framework that gives them equity in their IP’s
- How unlike the US where the channels typically take all but a sliver of the value!
- These are mainly Canadian and Australian.
- They are often ‘players’ with a U.S operation like Australia’s Beyond International, Canada’s Cineflix or Germany’s Storyhouse.
- NHNZ (Natural History New Zealand) is a successful producer based in a small, distant market.
I’m confident that the ‘Other International’ sector will expand. Why?
- Asia and other regional markets are evolving fast.
- Their sophisticated producers will partner up with US and other international talent to make inroads into the multi-, multi-billion dollar US nonfiction production industry.
- Thanks to our editorial associate Alexander Watson for capturing the preliminary data.
- We intend to expand and refine the coverage and go deeper with the analysis.
- We’ll also isolate documentary commissions from the Reality tide.
- Here is the link to our previous coverage of ‘Where are the US producers are located?‘
- Watch out for the upcoming update of our popular Case Study: ‘The Rise and Rise of ‘Pawn Stars’ and Leftfield Pictures’!